|Birth: ||Nov. 6, 1921|
San Francisco County
|Death: ||Mar. 26, 2012|
Frankie Ann Conner was born as "Frances Anne Braun" in San Francisco's Saint Francis Hospital, the natural daughter of Frances Lillian Johnson of Milwaukie, Oregon. Considerable plotting and intrigue accompanied Frankie's birth. Since Catholic hospitals at the time rarely admitted unwed mothers to their regular maternity facilities, Frankie's birth mother, Frances Johnson, was registered at Saint Francis under the assumed name of her married sister, Margaret (Johnson) Braun, the wife of U. S. Navy lieutenant Charles V. Braun Jr. Charles and Margaret Braun are listed as Frankie's parents on her birth certificate.
While still in her infancy, Frankie became a permanent ward of her maternal aunt and uncle, Olivia and Clarence Conner, who were unable to bear children of their own. Remarkably, this guardianship arrangement was carried out on a private, informal basis — no legal adoption proceedings ever took place — and was almost certainly guided by the quiet advocacy of Frankie's maternal grandmother, Maggie Johnson, with the tacit approval of the Catholic clergy in Oregon. Following a train trip with the Conners from San Francisco to Milwaukie, Frankie was baptized and given a new name, "Frankie Ann Conner."
Frankie spent most of her formative years in Milwaukie, and was educated in the parochial grade and high schools at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church. She also lived with her parents in several Western Washington mill towns, including Ridgefield, Selleck, Puyallup, Tenino, and Olympia, while her father, a shingle weaver, followed his trade. She was a 1940 graduate of the high school at Tenino, Washington.
In 1940 Frankie married her first husband, Vernon Eutsler, a World War II veteran of the U. S. Army and a professional cook. They had three children, lived in Olympia, Washington, and Milwaukie, Oregon, and were divorced in 1947.
The following year Frankie began a 23-year marriage with her second husband, Bob Fisher, a U. S. Army veteran of World War II and a heavy equipment operator in road construction work. The Fishers had five children and resided at Milwaukie, Oregon. They were divorced in 1971. Afterward, Frankie worked for several years in the kitchen at Rose Villa Senior Living in Milwaukie.
Chet Abernathy, Frankie's third husband, whom she married in 1971, had served with the U. S. Army Air Corps in Alaska during World War II, and later was a shipping and receiving clerk for the U. S. Civil Service at Tracy, California. Beginning in 1972, they lived in Gresham, Oregon, enjoying pastimes such as dancing and spending time with their many friends at the Gresham Eagles Lodge. Frankie became a widow upon Chet's death in 1991.
In her later years, Frankie maintained an active lifestyle with her companion of 15 years, Matthew VanderKaay, a retired aeronautics engineer who shared her passion for dancing and socializing at F.O.E. lodge gatherings. She also found time to indulge her longtime interests in gardening, painting, and photography.
Frankie was a fun-loving person who enjoyed a good joke and an occasional cocktail, and who never took herself, or life's trials, too seriously. She died at 90, following an extended period of declining health.
Clarence Chester Conner (1886 - 1966)
Olivia Ethel Johnson Conner (1894 - 1986)
Vernon Roy Eutsler (1920 - 1968)
Robert Gene Fisher (1923 - 1986)
Charles Vernon Abernathy (1917 - 1991)
Roberta Ruth Fisher Kartman (1948 - 2007)*
Barbara Ann Fisher (1950 - 1950)*
Mary Clare Fisher Massey (1954 - 2009)*
Willamette National Cemetery
Plot: Section D #222
Created by: EGF
Record added: Apr 03, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 88039883